by Wildcat Dianne
May 10, 2003
Jaskyna Driny are ancient limestone caverns that were not discovered until Jan Banic and Jan Vajzabel did in 1929. In 1934, Jaskyna Driny was opened to the public, and for the past 74 years hundreds of tourists have endured the steep 2 km hike up treacherous hills to visit this natural wonder. Although the caverns were roped off preventing tourists to visit them the day of my visit, I read before leaving that the caverns have several "rooms" with many stalagmites and stalagtites throughout, and there are still several undiscovered rooms.
Ivan and I began our hike up to Jaskyna Driny on a pleasant May morning. Our backpacks were loaded with water and mine was loaded with my camera, and Ivan had some homemade brandy stashed in his for some liquid courage for both of us. The hike up to Jaskyna Driny took us about an hour with the steep stairways and hills. Luckily I didn't go ass over tea kettle on this hike and get hurt, but we were disappointed we couldn't go inside the Jaskyna Driny. So Ivan and I posed for a picture in front of the cavern entrance, had a little bite to eat, and some liquid refreshment before continuing our hike around Smolenice and the Maly Karpaty Mountains.
To get to Jaskyna Driny, you must take the 10-km trail from Smolenice Castle and follow the trail signs. The climb is very steep and consists of dirt paths and a steep stairway made from wood. The caverns are open from 9-4 daily. There are benches and picnic tables there for lunch or rest stops along with a souvenir/refreshment stand if you need water or juice.
From journal More of the Wildcat's Adventures in Slovakia: Smolenice and Pezinok